When You Stop Playing the Blame Game, You Start to Find a Solution

Uncategorized Sep 11, 2018

Love is one of the greatest and most important experiences that anyone can have. It is a gift, and it can fill up our lives. We all possess a deep desire to have someone connected to our hearts in a safe and growing relationship.

You may be single and looking for the right person, or you may be married and wanting your connection to be happier, deeper and more intimate. In either situation, a healthy, safe, exciting and positive love relationship is an important part of life. Or at a more serious level, things may not be going well in your love life. Your dating life may be in trouble, or it may be nonexistent. Your marriage may be empty or struggling with a great deal of pain and conflict.

Avoid the blame game and ask, “What part have I played in this situation?” Here are some common answers.

(Please note that that these don’t necessary apply where abuse is present. If you’re in an abusive relationship, please seek the help of a counselor and/or law...

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Addressing the Fear of Confronting a Toxic Person

Uncategorized Sep 11, 2018

The following was written to address general unsafe behavior and may not be applicable for situations where abuse is/was present. If you have been in a relationship where abuse was present, please seek the help of a counselor and/or law enforcement.

As any psychologist will tell you, fear is stronger when we fear becoming afraid. This is called fear of fear. Suppose you need to confront a toxic person about their attitude, but you’re afraid they might retaliate. So you stay happy and positive on the outside but remain dissatisfied on the inside.

The longer you ignore the fear, the more you will activate it. And since the fear is associated with an uncomfortable outcome, having it burrow around in your mind naturally gives you an uncomfortable feeling. Eventually you learn to avoid thinking about the fearful situation so you won’t have to keep feeling the fear. And the more you avoid feeling that fear, the more afraid of it you become. It’s a vicious cycle, and it...

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Here's How you Say No to Drama in Your Life

Uncategorized Jul 20, 2018

Life is full of traps. Sometimes this fact is never more apparent than in our relationships with others. One of the biggest traps that we all fall into at one time or another is getting stuck in the whirlpool of unnecessary drama.

You know what I’m talking about: that friend who may have lots of good attributes, but always manages to trigger an argument whenever you’re together; that coworker who seems to only ever want to talk about your mutual colleagues and the zillion ways they’re doing everything wrong; that fragile friend whose feelings get hurt no matter what you do or say; or what about that person who you’re always having to save from the assorted troubles that seem to follow them around wherever they go?

Getting bogged down by these kinds of people and issues can be seriously demotivating. They zap you of your energy. Left alone, these relationships will end badly.

Most drama is avoidable by laying down solid boundaries.

Boundaries are an invisible...

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Connect with Others to Find Safe Relationships

Uncategorized Jul 20, 2018

I opened up this discussion in my boundaries group on facebook not long ago, and I said that bonding is the ability to establish an emotional attachment to another person. It’s the ability to relate to another on the deepest level. When two people have a bond with each other, they share their deepest thoughts, dreams, and feelings with each other with no fear that the other person will reject them.

Without a solid, bonded relationship, the human soul will become mired in psychological and emotional problems. We cannot prosper without being connected to others. We sometimes think, however, that we can supply all our needs without other people. We think that, in a state of emotional isolation, we can still grow. This grave violation of the basic nature of the universe can cause serious problems.

Learning to bond won’t happen overnight. Making human connections takes a good dose of grace, truth and time. Here are some skills that will start you on the long road to making...

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Pain will bury your heart if you don’t do this

Uncategorized Jul 20, 2018

There is no shortage of things in life that can cause you to bury your heart and soul.

If we are going to invest in our lives, it’s going to take some deep digging inside of ourselves. And to dig deeply means that we must face some fears and obstacles. What can you identify in your life that has caused you to bury your treasure? Was it harsh parents? A tough relationship? A lack of opportunity or resources that caused you to give up? A subculture that put you down? Other people who did not like what you brought from the inside of your heart and soul?

The truth is, that those who succeed in any aspect of life have not allowed those influences to keep their dreams and desires hidden. They have dug them up, faced their fears, taken risks, failed, gotten up again and found that they could indeed build something beautiful.

And I believe you were created to do amazing things in your life. 


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How to Guard Your Heart From Toxicity

Uncategorized Jul 20, 2018

The fruitfulness of our lives will come from our hearts.

Developing our inner selves helps us prioritize our lives. When we look to our inner selves, we begin to be a guardian of our hearts, making sure that they are strong and healthy, because we know that the fruitfulness of our lives will come from our hearts.

Our hearts will determine the “issues” of our lives. And we all have a lot of “issues” in life. We may have dysfunctional relationships, floundering careers, burnout, stress, lost dreams, debt and more. But the truth is that many of those issues come as a result of whether or not we are tending to and guarding our “inside life,” our heart, mind, soul and strength.

I want to show you how to guard your heart.

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The Worst Relationship for You to Be in is the One You Can't Let Go of

Uncategorized Jul 19, 2018

"So why don't you tell him that you want to break up with him?" I asked Monica about her boyfriend, Brian. "You keep telling me over and over about this issue that just doesn't go away."

"Because he has so many wonderful qualities," she said. "There are so many things I love about him."

"Like what?" I asked.

"Well, like his sense of humor, and his charm. I still get excited whenever he is around. I am so drawn to him," she said.

"Yeah, I know." I empathized. "And then when you get together, what happens?"

"We have a great time," she said. "That is why it is so hard."

"You have a great time for how long?" I pushed.

"Well, when he is there. And then when we get together again," she said.

"And... when is that?" I asked.

"Too long..." she said, reflecting the truth that Brian would dip into her life with fly-by romance and investment and then be totally unavailable in any kind of way that would build a true relationship.

"And then what happens?" I asked further, knowing the answer.

"I...

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Here’s what’s creating the biggest problems in your life

Uncategorized Jul 17, 2018

 

We repeat patterns in our lives without knowing that our pattern is creating the problem.

We could be going back to the same toxic relationships, giving it chance after chance. We could be indulging in the same bad habits that aren’t good for us, thinking it won’t affect us is the same way.

But don’t be discouraged. Strive for progress, not perfection. Go back and look at what could be different — look at what you ultimately have control of, yourself. Research shows that change happens more consistently and lasts longer when our goal is to get better, not perfect. And it get better, that takes time.

When we understand that change is a process, then when we do fall short, we will see it as a necessary part of the path and not as a dead end. We will be able to take a setback in stride and continue going forward. So remember, we’re not aiming for perfection, just progress.

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Telling Yourself to ‘Get Over It' Simply Doesn’t Work

Uncategorized Jul 15, 2018

Paul came into therapy because his wife was frustrated with his emotional distance from the children. As we explored what made it difficult for him to connect with his children, I asked Paul about his own father.

His father was wonderful, Paul told me, and he had always looked up to him. “It seems you and your father did much better together than you and your children are doing,” I said. “I wonder what went wrong.”

“I don’t know. Maybe it has something to do with his death.”

“What do you mean?”

“He died when I was 13. He just never woke up one morning. I watched the paramedics come in and take him away under a sheet. Mom never talked about it. My uncle made all the funeral arrangements, but he didn’t talk about it either.” And then he began to cry.

As we continued to work, he began to recognize his anger for the sudden loss of his father. He was resentful that his mother and uncle never helped him through his...

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The Bad Habit That Destroys Relationships

Uncategorized Jul 15, 2018

Playing fair will destroy every relationship in your life.

Fair is giving good things to others as long as they give good things to us. Then if they fail us in some way, we respond “fairly.” We give it right back to them, either at the moment or soon thereafter. Either our words or our actions say, “That’s not fair. Therefore, I am not going to do good to you any more. In fact, I’m going to give you exactly what you’re giving me. Then you can see how it feels.”

The problem is that operating by the principle of playing fair, all it takes for any relationship to go sour is for one person not to perform, then the other one will do the same. There is an interlocking dependency: the other person must be good so I can be good. In this kind of dynamic, we need the other person to be loving in order for us to love them, or to behave maturely in order for us to behave maturely toward them. And no one ever performs perfectly, so that is why all it...

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